Gluten free chocolate peppermint shortbread cookies are a fun holiday treat! Add some holiday cheer to your dessert tray with these festive cookies. Buttery shortbread plus melted chocolate and crushed candy canes make for a delicious and colorful treat that all can enjoy.
I love recipes that do double duty, especially at this time of year. If I can make one type of cookie dough, and then do two or three variations from that one recipe, I’m happy! Less time in the kitchen is always a good thing.
I shared gluten free slice and bake chocolate shortbread earlier this week. It’s an easy recipe, and especially good if you want to prepare the dough and freeze it ahead of time.
Using the same recipe for the shortbread dough, I came up with these gluten free chocolate peppermint shortbread cookies. These are good if you have someone who likes a fancier, richer cookie in your family.
I have one son who prefers simpler sweets, and one who loves lots of chocolate and candies and “extras” on his desserts. He loved these!
It’s really simple to fancy up these cookies. Just wait for them to cool completely, then add some melted chocolate chips to one side, and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes on top. Instantly festive and fun! If you love peppermint, try adding a couple drops of pure peppermint extract to the melted chocolate chips.
Can I make chocolate peppermint shortbread cookies ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it! Then just pull the dough out of the freezer when you’re ready to bake it. This cookie dough can be frozen for up to three months.
Where can I get allergy friendly candy canes?
Spangler candy canes are really easy to find in many stores at this time of year. Spangler products that are made and packaged in their own facility are free of the top allergens. You will see a very clear allergen statement on the box. Read Spangler’s allergen statement here.
Of course, there are other brands of candy canes that may be safe for your particular needs. YumEarth and Wholesome are brands to look into, although they are made in facilities that contain some allergens, but not all allergens.
Are candy canes vegan?
Many traditional candy canes are not vegan, due to the use of regular sugar and artificial red food dye. Look for brands that use cane sugar and natural food colors to make sure you are buying vegan candy canes.
How do I slice the log of cookie dough evenly?
This dough should be cut into slices that are about ½ inch thick. To make sure your slices are even, you can lightly mark the dough with the edge of a knife before cutting all the way through.
Can I just drop the dough on the cookie sheet instead of chilling and slicing it?
That won’t work too well. If this gluten free shortbread cookie dough isn’t chilled, it will be too thin, and will spread a lot during baking. Chilling the log of dough and slicing it will yield the best results.
If you make this recipe or any of my holiday cookie recipes, please share on Instagram and tag me @prettybeeblog. I love to see your latest creations!
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Gluten Free Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread Cookies.
For the cookie dough:
- Place the vegan buttery spread, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Add the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, and salt, and mix on low speed until combined.
- Divide the cookie dough in half, and place each half on a piece of waxed paper. Shape into logs and wrap in the waxed paper. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours. If you are making this dough ahead of time to bake later, you can freeze it at this point.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the logs of dough into ½ inch slices. Place on the cookie sheets with 1 ½ inches in between them.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets before moving.
- Melt the chocolate chips on high in the microwave for about one minute. Stir, and if not fully melted, microwave in 10 second intervals until melted. If you want a stronger peppermint flavor, you can add a couple of drops of peppermint extract.
- Unwrap the candy canes and place in a ziploc bag. Crush them with a rolling pin.
- Spread some melted chocolate chips on half of each cookie. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.
- Allow the chocolate to firm up before serving. You can stick the cookies in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help the chocolate firm up.